152034 Strategies to reduce chronic illness by advancing a policy agenda to improve eating and activity environments

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 8:30 PM

Larry Cohen, MSW , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Leslie Mikkelson, RD, MPH , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Virginia Lee, MPH, CHES , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Jamila Edwards, MPP , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Janani Srikantharajah, BA , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Jesse Appelman, BA , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Recognizing the long-term nature of the changes needed to effectively reduce chronic diseases (e.g., obesity and Type II diabetes), there needs to be a clear road map that lays out the long term strategies for improving behaviors (e.g., eating and physical activity) that may lead to such diseases. Although there are already many policy activities in play and a range of sectors and advocacy groups focused on particular aspects of establishing healthy eating and active living environments, changes are being implemented in an unsystematic way throughout the country. In turn, environmental changes are only beginning to reach an adequate scale to significantly influence behavior patterns and subsequent chronic disease rates. The breadth of the environmental and policy factors contributing to poor eating habits and sedentary behaviors requires bringing together diverse constituencies to advocate for a broad agenda; in effect building a strong movement for change. The coordination and synergy of efforts could bring about a needed push in changing environments to support good health and wellbeing.

Under the leadership of the Healthy Eating – Active Living Convergence Partnership and funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Prevention Institute is conducting a national- and state-level policy scan of “best bets” – a short list of organizational practices and public policies addressing nutrition- and physical activity-related issues that maximize support from diverse constituencies and hold the most promise for improving eating and activity environments.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Articulate the importance of an environmental approach to prevent chronic disease. 2. Identify 3 promising, cross-cutting organizational practices and policies that open the door to further environmental change.

Keywords: Public Health Advocacy, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.